The Meaning of Void: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of void? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word void, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word void mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary and Cambridge Dictionary, the word void (pronounced vɔɪd) has a few separate meanings. This word can be used as a noun, adjective, or verb. As a noun, this word is used to refer to some large hole or empty space, such as a great void in space or huge desert voids without water. This can be used literally or figuratively. As an adjective, this word can describe something that is lacking in a particular quality, as well as meaning to be legally invalid. This thing would be “rendered void,” or legally nullified. Finally as a verb, the word void  is used to describe the action of legally nullifying something, or taking away its legal force. Try using this word of the day or other new words in a sentence today to describe a void space!

Many different languages also contain words that mean void in all three of its forms – noun, adjective, and verb. However, many of these languages do not use homonyms like the word void in English. You may notice that many of these words look the same or similar across languages. These cognates are often formed when two languages have the same origin or ancestral language, such as Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word void is provided by Word Sense.

Void (n.) – an empty space

  • Slovene: praznina‎ (fem.)
  • Latin: praznina‎ (fem.)
  • Czech: prázdnota‎ (fem.)
  • Old English: ġelǣr‎
  • Interlingua: vacuo‎
  • German: Leere‎ (fem.)
  • Hungarian: üresség‎, űr‎
  • Italian: vacuo‎ (masc.), vuoto‎ (masc.)
  • Finnish: tyhjiö‎
  • Swedish: tomrum‎ (neut.)
  • Norwegian: intet‎ (neut.), tomhet‎ (masc.), vakuum‎ (neut.), tomrom‎ (neut.)
  • French: vide‎ (masc.), néant‎ (masc.)
  • Spanish: vacío‎ (masc.)
  • Polish: pustka‎ (fem.), próżnia‎ (fem.)
  • Cyrillic: празнина‎ (fem.)
  • Maori: hemanga‎
  • Danish: tomrum‎ (neut.)
  • Dutch: vacuüm‎, leegte‎
  • Romanian: vid‎ (neut.)
  • Russian: пустота́‎ (fem.)
  • Indonesian: hampa‎
  • Portuguese: vazio‎ (masc.), vácuo‎ (masc.)
  • Catalan: buit‎ (masc.)

Void (v.) – to nullify

  • Tagalog: waling-bisa‎
  • Norwegian: annulere‎, gjøre ugyldig‎
  • German: löschen‎, annullieren‎
  • Russian: аннулировать‎ (impf)
  • Italian: annullare‎, invalidare‎
  • Finnish: mitätöidä‎
  • Interlingua: annullar‎, invalidar‎
  • Dutch: annuleren‎, ongeldig maken‎
  • Portuguese: anular‎, invalidar‎
  • Indonesian: membatalkan‎
  • French: annuler‎, résilier‎, révoquer‎
  • Spanish: anular‎, invalidar‎
  • Swedish: annullera‎, upphäva‎

Void (adj.) – invalid

  • Maori: mārua‎, manakore‎
  • Hungarian: érvénytelen‎, semmis‎
  • German: ungültig‎, nichtig‎
  • Norwegian: ugyldig‎
  • Romanian: nul‎
  • Dutch: ongeldig‎, nietig‎
  • Italian: nullo‎, non valido‎
  • Indonesian: batal‎
  • Russian: недействительный‎ (masc.)
  • Portuguese: nulo‎ (masc.), inválido‎ (masc.)
  • Interlingua: nulle‎, invalide‎
  • Thai: โมฆะ‎
  • Polish: nieważny‎ (masc.)
  • Finnish: mitätön‎, pätemätön‎, mitätöity‎
  • Tagalog: walang-bisa‎
  • Spanish: nulo‎ (masc.), inválido‎ (masc.)
  • French: nul‎

How can the word void be used in a sentence?

The word void can be used as a noun, adjective or verb. In this first example, void is used figuratively as a noun:

Kellan felt a void in his heart after his wife left him.

Next, void is used as an adjective both in the legal and non-legal senses:

After their marriage was declared void, their family home was void of any love.

Finally, the word void is used as a verb:

The judge decided to void their marriage certificate. 

What are synonyms for the word void?

Since the word void can be used as a noun, adjective or verb, this means that the word will have three separate sets of synonyms. Synonyms are words and phrases that mean the same thing as another word or phrase. It is useful to know synonyms for a word like void that can have multiple meanings because it could clarify what you mean when you are talking to someone. Additionally, synonyms are useful for expanding your vocabulary and avoiding repeating the same word over and over again. This list of synonyms for the word void is provided by Thesaurus

Void (n.) – an empty space

  • space
  • gap
  • vacuum
  • nihility
  • nullity
  • blankness
  • vacuity
  • hole
  • opening
  • hollow
  • lack
  • nothingness
  • cavity
  • blank

Void (v.) – to nullify

  • discharge
  • abrogate
  • annul
  • take out
  • drop
  • cut
  • invalidate
  • sanitize
  • gut
  • vacate
  • launder
  • blue pencil
  • dissolve
  • black out
  • declare null and void
  • rescind
  • trim
  • abnegate
  • bleep
  • sterilize

Void (adj.) – invalid

  • not viable
  • vain
  • null
  • null and void
  • unfruitful
  • ineffective
  • voided
  • fruitless
  • sterile
  • worthless
  • dead
  • bad
  • unsanctioned
  • negated
  • unsuccessful
  • set aside
  • unenforceable
  • nugatory
  • inoperative
  • unconfirmed
  • unratified
  • invalid
  • avoided
  • forceless
  • ineffectual
  • useless

What is the origin of the word void?

According to Etymonline, the word void has been used to mean unoccupied or vacant since the year 1300. This comes from the Anglo-French and Old French voide or viude meaning empty or hollow. This French word was also used as a noun. This comes from the Latin vocivos meaning unoccupied or vacant, which is related to the Latin vacare, meaning to be empty. These Latin words come from the Proto-Indo-=European root wak, meaning to leave or abandon. Void has been used to mean lacking or wanting since the early 15th century, as to mean legally invalid since the mid-15th century. The word void has been used as a noun since the 1610s to refer to an empty space or gap, and to mean absolute emptiness or a vacuum since the year 1727. The word void has been used as a verb meaning to clear out since the year 1300, and meaning to eliminate legal validity or to nullify since the early 14th century. Related words include voided, voiding, voidness, voider, and voidable. 

Overall, the word void can be used as a noun, adjective or verb in the English language. As a noun, this refers to some empty space or vacuum. As an adjective, this can describe something that is legally invalid or devoid of a particular quality. As a verb, the word is used to refer to the action of legally nullifying something.